Tag Archives: MA Rivers

2018 Paddle-A-Thon Topsfield, MA

On Saturday, June 16, 2018 the Ipswich River Watershed Association held their 3rd annual paddling event at the Topsfield Fairgrounds to benefit the beautiful, but endangered, Ipswich River.

More than 130 paddling enthusiasts gathered for a day of fun to support efforts to protect the Ipswich River and its wildlife.

A 4-mile morning group paddle, followed by lunch, live music and an afternoon canal race kept all the guests busy and entertained while raising funds and awareness for the river.

It was our first time paddling the Ipswich River, and our first time paddling this year, and what a day it turned out to be.  Sunny skies and perfect temperatures made for a leisurely day exploring the river, making new friends and paddling for a worthy cause.

The folks at the Ipswich River Watershed Association work hard at promoting the ecological and recreational value of the Ipswich River and we applaud their dedication and continuing commitment to the health of the river.

We encourage all paddlers to learn more about the Ipswich River Watershed Association and hopefully join them in protecting this valuable local river, its tributary streams and its estuary.

Be a champion for the river!

We certainly plan on paddling the Ipswich River estuary this year and hope to learn more about these local waters and the recreational opportunities they provide.

Have you paddled the Ipswich River estuary?

To learn more about the Ipswich River and several of its paddling routes please refer to the links below.

Ipswich River Watershed AssociationClick Here

Middleton  Stream TeamClick Here








Kayaking the Lower Merrimack River – A Free Presentation – June 7, 2018

Have you always wanted to kayak the tidal areas of the lower Merrimack River but lack the confidence to do so?  Do you long to explore the creeks and salt marshes of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge but question whether you have the necessary skills required to paddle these tricky waters?

Well you’re not alone, but all that is about to change.  Attend a free presentation that will boost your knowledge, increase your confidence and provide an opportunity to meet other kayakers interested in paddling this scenic tidal area.

Parker River Wildlife Refuge at dusk

The Merrimack River Watershed Council is offering  a free program, Kayaking the Lower Merrimack River, presented by Ken Taylor, the owner of Plum Island Kayak.  Ken is a highly regarded, highly experienced kayaker who will teach you tips and tricks designed to help you safely paddle the lower Merrimack River area.

This free program will be presented Thursday, June 7 at 6:30 p.m. at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge headquarters, Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport., MA.  No reservations required.




Kayaking Merrimack River – Seal Trip – Newburyport, MA

WHY PADDLE HERE? – For viewing harbor and gray seals and a tidal river experience.

THE PADDLING ROUTE – Once launching we paddled down river stopping short of Black Rocks near the mouth of the river where harbor and gray seals gather.

As our large kayak group neared the area of the rocks, the seals immediately fled retreating underwater for safety.  The seals then popped their heads up out of the water a safe distance from the group and kept a watchful eye on us before disappearing once again underwater.

After viewing the seals for a bit, the group then landed on the north side of the river at the Salisbury, MA State Reservation where we breaked for lunch before paddling upriver back to the launch.

CAUTIONS! – Strong currents and cross directional waves, especially near the mouth of the river.  Keep watch for frequent and large boat traffic.  

Strong NW winds can be challenging to paddle against even when paddling with the tide and our paddling group experienced these winds first hand.  Halfway through our trip the winds picked up substantially making for a difficult and exhausting journey back to the launch.  

If a kayaker stopped paddling even for a brief second,  he or she immediately started going backward even though we were paddling with the tide in our favor.  Several kayakers were so fatigued by paddling against these winds they had to be towed by the guides.  

Unfortunately for two inexperienced paddlers, today’s conditions proved too much for them and each man capsized.  The experienced guides assisted each paddler re-enter their kayaks and finish the trip albeit wet and cold.

If you are an inexperienced kayaker, I recommend  that you engage the services of professional guides when paddling here, it just may save your life.

PARKING & LAUNCH – We rented tandem kayaks for this guided late October tour from Plum Island Kayak in Newburyport, MA.  Their rental office is located at 92 Merrimack St. and there is parking behind their building.  The office is located a short walk from the boat ramp located adjacent to the waterfront Black Cow and Grill restaurant.  There is an additional public parking lot with meters at the boat ramp.

RESTROOMS –  The group accessed the Salisbury MA State Reservation campground facilities during our break.

WHEN TO VISIT – Harbor and gray seals gather here in the spring and fall during low tide only so plan accordingly.  Locally, seal watching is popular and kayak trips fill up fast, so book early.



DIRECTIONS – Click Here.